Sally here to start the week with you: I’ve got Dame Darcy on VICE, the new Rowhouse Residency auction, the last days of the Composition Competition, a major event at the ToonSeum, a brand new column on Comics Workbook, and everything you ever wanted to know about Ben Day Dots…



The Comics Workbook Composition Competition 2016 is drawing to a close! The last day to submit work is August 30th, right up until 11:59pm EST, and not a moment later. That means 8:59pm for the West Coast – no complaining!

The entries are coming in at a terrific rate now, and it’s all we can do to keep up with the rush of talent and excitement. THE LIST of entries is updated as often as we can manage, but for those who don’t see their name on the list (yet!) – if you have emailed us your entry and it has been reblogged on the Comics Workbook tumblr then you are IN, no worries.

Before you send those entries in PLEASE double-check that you have met all the contest specifications – and thank you for joining the Composition Competition this year. Full contest details HERE.

Again, submission deadline is August 30th, 2016, at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time! Good luck!!


The latest auction to benefit thee Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency is a set of 3 pages donated by Sammy Harkham. THEY ARE AMAZING as you can see from the video above. Check out the rest of the action details HERE.


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Cameron Nicholson

On the site today we are pleased to feature a brand new column!

QUESTIONS is an anonymously curated column that will appear occasionally on Comics Workbook. It presents articles, interviews, drawings, and more under the rubric of a general theme.

TRANSITION might refer to: changes in the artistic, personal, or professional life of an individual creator; changes in the wider zeitgeist of a medium or industry, which can in turn affect individual works; and of course the implied passage of time from page to page, panel to panel, that is arguably the central characteristic of comics.

TRANSITION features interviews with Cameron Nicholson and Simon Moreton, an article by Kim Jooha, and reviews of work by Warren Craghead, Sarah Ferrick, and Aseyn. Thanks for reading. Thanks to all contributors for their time.

The anonymous columnist has questions for themselves as well as the folks listed above, and the piece is a wondrous and extensive collection of thoughts on transition.

Please dig into it HERE – and look for more Questions columns on Comics Workbook in the future.



Dame Darcy on VICE last week (above). And the 1994 interview from The Comics JournalHERE. She answered a question about what she liked about the 1800’s to 1920’s:

I like the fact that everybody was uptight and really conservative and bound, and they had these twisted views, this weird morbid society, that they romanticized death because it was around them, it was such a big part of their lives all the time. They accepted death rather than trying to hide it beneath all this crazy youth culture plastic ideology like they do today.” – Dame Darcy via tcj.com

I guess she’s still very much into “this Victorian thing” as Darcy Sullivan put it in 1994. It’s probably about time I put my mitts on her Meat Cake Bible (Fantagraphics, 2016)… More about that book HERE on Observer (an interview from earlier in August, right before Dame Darcy went “to sea school to get my captain’s licence“…!)



A recent discovery by the CW Daily News team is the blog Legion of Andy – where you can dig into topics like “The Most Important Colour Printing Technique You’ve Never Heard Of: Resin Grain Chromotypography“, and “Tarzan and the Ben Day Dots – Secrets of 1930s Comic Strip Colour“.

In his most recent post, the writer is bidding farewell to his second 8-part series on Ben Day Dots, and welcoming in Craftint. He has fun quotes, like:

Those first engravings were beautiful things. They had the Ben Day process then and those Ben Day men were artists—they could get the colors. Then they got cheaper and cheaper and now finally there’s no Ben Day work at all. They use a different process that’s cheaper and not nearly so good.
Hal Foster, 1971—talking about the early days of his renowned Sunday newspaper strip, Prince Valiant, which started in 1937. Quoted by Phil Normand, here.”

This blog is one rabbit warren that you might never find your way out of…! Check it out HERE.


Draw Me
(L-R top) Frank Santoro and Rick Sebak, John Kelly and Ed Piskor – (L-R bottom) Ed Piskor, John Kelly, Mark Zingarelli, Jim Rugg, and other guests – photos by John Kelly and Rick Sebak

Here in Pittsburgh we are lucky to have one of the world’s only museums dedicated entirely to the art and history of comics – the wonderful ToonSeum! The recent opening party for a new exhibit was attended by many of the region’s cartoonists – including Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, Frank Santoro, Mark Zingarelli – and local legend Rick Sebak. Sebak described the show later on his Facebook page:

A new show called DRAW ME! opened last night at The ToonSeum. It’s a great collection of artifacts that show some of the ways that people have tried to make money by teaching people to be cartoonists! I love the old cartooning styles, and the amazing collection of stuff gathered by John F. Kelly and Mark Zingarelli. Worth a visit or two for sure!

The exhibit features part of the collections of John Kelly, Frank Santoro, Warren Bernard, Bill Boichel, and Mark Zingarelli, among others. If you live nearby definitely check it out, and if you live far away, you should still come check it out – heck, Fiona Smyth flew in from Toronto for it! Show runs through October.

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Frank Santoro (making a face at the request of the photographer) and the great Fiona Smyth


I’ll catch up with you again in September- have fun out there! – Sally

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